Old Town Braces for Possible Flooding

Alexandria officials said yesterday that the Potomac River could flood the lower streets of Old Town by this morning, particularly after high tide at 7:06 a.m., because of Hurricane Ophelia.

Last night, the city was handing out sandbags to businesses in the 100 block of King Street and the 100 and 200 blocks of Union Street as a precaution.

No residential properties were expected to be affected, officials said.

Herbicide Aimed at Invasive Coastal Reed

Virginia is using helicopters, boats and contractors to take out an aggressive alien plant that is bullying its way into coastal marshland. The fast-growing reed Phragmites is taking over large sections of eastern marshes.

A new herbicide, Habitat, is being sprayed this month on hundreds of acres of state parks, natural areas and wildlife refuges in coastal Virginia that are being choked with the tall, swaying reeds.


Giant to Halt Eggs' Animal Care Logo

Giant Food of Maryland, in response to a lawsuit filed by an animal advocacy group, has agreed to stop using a logo on cartons of its store-brand eggs that certifies them as coming from humanely treated chickens.

In February, the group, Compassion Over Killing, and four egg consumers filed a lawsuit in D.C. Superior Court against Giant Food, Brookville Supermarket and Lehman's Egg Service alleging that the "Animal Care Certified" logo stamped on egg cartons by United Egg Producers deceives shoppers by conveying a false message of humane animal care.

Erica Meier, a spokeswoman for Compassion Over Killing, said Giant will remove the logo from its egg cartons while it investigates claims that the chickens are kept in wire cages so small that they can't spread their wings and that chicks have parts of their beaks burned off to reduce the impact of stress-induced aggression.

A spokesman for Giant said the agreement applies only to Giant-brand eggs sold in the District. The suit against the remaining defendants will go forward, Meier said.


War Protesters Rally at White House

A few dozen protesters assembled across from the White House yesterday, demanding the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq as they sought to build momentum for a massive antiwar demonstration in Washington this month.

"Bush Lied, Innocents Died" read a banner that several of the protesters held. A man dressed as an Abu Ghraib prisoner, in a black robe and hood, stood next to the speaker's rostrum in Lafayette Square.

Tom Hayden, the veteran antiwar activist, was among those who addressed the small crowd, a roster that also included Lila Lipscomb, the Michigan mother whose soldier son's death in Iraq was featured in the Michael Moore documentary "Fahrenheit 9/11."

Organizers hope that tens of thousands of demonstrators will attend an antiwar protest Sept. 24.


Investor May Face Trial Over Late Payment

An agreement in which federal prosecutors dropped bank fraud charges against a former investor convicted of defrauding the state pension system is in jeopardy because he has failed to pay a settlement of more than $200,000.

Nathan A. Chapman Jr., 47, agreed in June to pay $215,000 in exchange for prosecutors' dropping three charges related to the purchase and sale of a home. He agreed to pay the money within 60 days and admitted wrongdoing but did not enter a plea.

Chapman has not paid anything despite being given several extensions, the last of which expired Friday, said Vickie LeDuc, a spokeswoman for the U.S. attorney's office.

Chapman was convicted last year in U.S. District Court on 23 counts, including defrauding the state pension system, stealing from his companies and lying on tax returns. He was sentenced to 71/2 years in prison but remains free pending appeal.

Aide to Frederick Mayor to Leave Position

A top aide to Frederick Mayor Jennifer P. Dougherty announced yesterday that he is leaving his post to form a health care firm. Vincent Hughes, chief operations officer of citizens services, said in an interview that his resignation, effective Nov. 30, had been in the works for months and had no connection to Dougherty's defeat in Tuesday's primary election.

Hughes joined the city in May 2002. He oversaw the newly created Economic Development Department and headed several initiatives designed to connect residents more closely with the city's workings.

Montgomery to Review Trail Plan Sept. 29

The Montgomery County Planning Board is seeking public comment on a two-year plan to maintain and expand trails throughout the county. Initial plans drafted by staff will be presented to the Planning Board during a work session Sept. 29.

Pending approval from the Planning Board, staff intends to complete the Matthew Henson Hiker-Biker Trail in Aspen Hill, complete the renovation of the Black Hill Trail along the east side of Lake Seneca in Black Hill Regional Park, analyze the impact of equestrian use at Blockhouse Point Conservation Park in the Darnestown planning area, improve signs throughout the trail system and strengthen a trail volunteer program.

A full list of the projects included in the trail plan is available at Comments may be forwarded to the trail planning supervisor by e-mail to or by phone at 301-650-4391. Those interested in testifying may sign up in advance by calling 301-495-4600.

Victim in Pr. George's Killing Identified

A man who was found dead late Wednesday in the Boulevard Heights area of Prince George's County, about a block from the District line, was identified yesterday as Jerome Anthony Proctor of Northeast Washington, police said.

Proctor, 33, of the 1200 block of Benning Road NE, was discovered about 10:45 p.m. in the 1200 block of Boones Hill Road with gunshot wounds to his upper body, police said.

Detectives did not know of a motive and did not have a detailed description of a suspect.

"It's been out there too long. I don't think they're going to find out" who did it.

-- Thomas L. Morris III of Suitland, whose father, D.C. postal worker

Thomas Morris, died in the 2001 anthrax attacks. -- A1

Compiled from reports by staff writers Karlyn Barker, Annie Gowen, Allison Klein, Fredrick Kunkle and Paul Schwartzman and the Associated Press.